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The board welcomed Ben Taylor, left, who was appointed to replace former member Marie Harpin.

North Adams Housing Agency Reaching Asset Deal With City

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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The Housing Authority is continuing with the dissolution of hits home-ownership arm, Housing Opportunities Inc.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Housing Authority has met with city officials to continue discussion on the dissolution of Housing Opportunities Inc.

The Housing Authority board was provided an update of the dissolving of HOI during its meeting Monday night. The authority has been systematically working through an agreement with the city for the past two years about which assets North Adams will absorb from HOI.

Chairman Christopher Tremblay said he is optimistic about how the dissolution has been developing.

"We have met with the mayor … the Office of Community Development, and our attorney, and we discussed the finalizing of this and what our intents are and what the ultimate outcome is going to be," Tremblay said. "I think it is safe to say that we have reached an agreement with the city of North Adams."

The city will take control and responsibility of some properties and funds.

HOI is a nonprofit organization that uses government funds to purchase and rehabilitate homes for low income families, first-time home owners, and sustainable housing. The authority board also comprises the HOI board of directors.

Tremblay said it is no longer practical to sustain the organization.

"We are in the process of dissolving HOI; it is no longer a viable entity, and we have quite a few assets that are going to be returned to the city," he said.

Because of pending litigation (not having to do with the city), the Housing Authority was unable to discuss the dissolution in any detail. Members said by their next meeting things should settled down. Tremblay said the lawsuit is positive.

“It’s not a bad thing for the North Adams Housing Authority; it is actually a good thing," Tremblay said. "Things are going through the right way and we just have to wait before we can make an announcement."

The board also discussed a recent Green Physical Needs Assessment for public housing it received. The government assessment is soon to be mandated and aims to make more energy-efficient public housing.

Executive Director Jennifer Hohn said many of the items included in the draft report are written into the Housing Authority's five-year plan.

"We wanted to incorporate all of these work items into our five-year plan because whatever we don’t include in our five-year plan can’t be added after," Hohn said. "We are better off putting more in it than we are actually going to do."

The Housing Authority welcomed new member Ben Taylor, who was appointed to fill in the remaining term of former member Marie Harpin. Taylor is a political science professor at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

Tags: appointments,   Housing Authority,   

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